Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Preventing Frozen Pipes

Even in St. Louis, the weather can drop down to extremes that can freeze your pipes. Families assume that simply turning on their heater can prevent the pipes from freezing in their home. The pipes that freeze most commonly are those beneath the kitchen sink, and the frozen water just spreads from there once it takes root. If you are serious about beating the ice on those extremely cold nights, you are going to need some advice to keep your water flowing.

The problem with pipes freezing starts with the fact that the majority of kitchen sinks are positioned along an outer wall of your home. The average American enjoys having a window to look out of while doing the dishes as well, adding to the problem during temperature extremes. This problem is then only compounded by the cabinet doors that block the underside of the sink from view.

In the average American home, these three variables combine to create frozen pipes every year. If you've had difficulties with pipes freezing in the past, make sure to mention it to your St Louis heating company representative during your annual furnace tune up. Your representative will be able to give you advice on how to prevent this problem in the future.

What it boils down to is simple: The heat inside your home does not have a chance to reach the pipes bringing in water under your kitchen sink. The cabinetry that hides this unsightly part of the home from view also prevents the heated air from gaining access to the area underneath of your kitchen sink. Without that added heat, the stationary water in your pipes has nothing to help it stay liquid.

The kitchen sink's position along the outer wall means that the cooler air from outside keeps this area cooler during the winter. As your St Louis heating company can tell you, just as the sun bakes the outside of your home during the summer, warming the exterior walls, the cold can get into the walls as well and create a cooler area immediately adjacent to these walls.

When you add in that window which provides you with a view while doing your dishes, the cold air just seeps right in around those pipes. Windows are the main source of cold air getting into the home during the winter, and this one is no different. The cold air that seeps in turns the metal or ceramic of your sink colder, which in turn spreads into the water pipes beneath the sink.

In order to prevent these pipes from succumbing to the coldest winter nights, you need to take action. Your St Louis heating company representative can show you the best way to prop open your cabinet doors and position fans blowing warm air onto the water pipes here. Add in a properly dripping faucet, and this most common location for pipe freezing to start will see the morning come without a drop of water turned to ice.

Throwing Money Out The Window

When the temperature starts to plummet outside, you will quickly find that the cost of heating your entire home can be outrageous. As energy costs go up every year, millions of Americans find themselves unable to afford heating their entire home as it is. If you're among those families who have chosen to abandon rooms during colder weather, then your heating costs may have additional variables working against them.

As your St Louis heating company can tell you, throwing money out the window can be a quite literal saying when it comes to heating your home. Windows that aren't properly seated in the frames, aren't properly insulated, or aren't properly sealed can be letting all of your expensive heat just slip away into the chill of the outdoors. Your furnace struggles to keep producing hot air, and your energy bill climbs exponentially, while you experience very little of the benefits.

Before you start trying to close off rooms this winter season, consider investing in quality window treatments instead. Your St Louis heating company representative can even help you determine which windows need treatments, and which will be okay, while performing your annual furnace check-up.

Windows that feature only a single pane of glass have no buffer against the cold air from the other side. You can generally tell if your window has only a single pane of glass from examining it. Dual-paned and insulated window glass takes up far too much width to possibly be only a single layer of glass. If your windows have only a single pane, then you should consider investing in window treatments for the cooler months.

Determining if your window is incorrectly seated in its setting, causing a breach in sealing, can be a little more tricky. The problem with air is that it flows through even the smallest of cracks. You may not be able to see the gap between your window frame and the house, but the wind certainly can. These windows commonly exhibit a howling or eerie sound when the wind is blowing.

Even properly insulated, dual-paned windows can work their way out of their settings over the years. As your house ages, it will shift and settle with the ground that it is built on. Even far from earthquake activity, the ground still shifts every year. As this natural process occurs, the once perfect settings of your windows can change, letting in air through the cracks it creates.

Regardless of the problem that your windows are facing, your St Louis heating company can provide you with the information you need on how to fix your energy from escaping your home. If you can feel cold coming in through a window, then it is time to seal it over with plastic or another type of window treatment. It may not be pretty, but keeping the cold air out and the warm air in will cut your heating bill far down this winter season.